President Akufo-Addo’s inaugural address was too drab for such a momentous occasion, but it had a word that mercifully made the speech one made for Ghanaians and the word is ‘We’.
That word –easily the sole memorable portions of that address –intrigued me.
I hazarded, after going over the speech again that, President Akufo would not be beholden to his ethnic group, region, religion or political party. He would be an impartial leader. He would be fair to all, but I was wrong.
In less than one month, after that all-inclusive speech, President Akufo-Addo, has managed to accomplish the feat of populating his administration with more family members and friends than any past Ghanaian head of state, military or civilian, ever ventured to attempt.
The following are president Akufo-Addo’s peerless record in nepotism.
President Nana Addo, appointed Ken Ofori Atta, his cousin, Finance Mininster.
Nana Akufo-Addo appointed Samuel Atta Akyea, his cousin, Minister for Works and Housing.
Nana Akufo-Addo, appointed his protégé, Akoto Ampaw, as Special Prosecutor.
Nana Addo, appointed his tribesman, Yaw Osafo Marfo, as Senior Minister.
President Akufo-Addo, appointed his alleged former girlfriend, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Minister of Communications.
Nana Akufo-Addo, appointed Kwesi Amoako Atta from the Eastern Region, as Minister for Roads and Highways.
President Akufo-Addo, appointed his cousin, Nana Asante Bediatuo, as Executive Secretary to the President.
No Ghanaian leader has pushed nepotism this far. No Ghanaian head of state since Independence has had the shamelessness to embarrass himself on this scale.
None of them deigned to turn the rare privilege of holding the highest position in the land into an excuse to openly prioritize their family and friends in appointments –like Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The president has the constitutional power to staff the executive branch of the government. That is not in doubt. But it is a most embarrassing trivialization of that power; the most extensive vested in one office in Ghana, for a steward of that authority, a person elected to exercise it on behalf of the generality of Ghanaian people, to make it an instrument for advantaging only his family and friends.
Nana Addo’s overreach in nepotism is mind-boggling. It beats common sense. And it is reflective of his lack of bigheartedness and narrow field of vision, important factors that will guarantee his underachievement as president.
It is sheer foolishness for a president with a constituency of over 27million Ghanaians to make his inner circle, the sum of the capacities of some of his friends and relatives.
Nana Addo’s inner circle ought to reflect the riches and diversity of Ghanaian talent. His reduction of the presidency to a family affair is self-deprivation.
With a crowd of family members at the center of his presidency, he is without a healthy debate climate and multiform perspectives.
He is at the mercy of the groupthink of his relatives and friends, people whose over familiarity with him and sense of entitlement, would be a liability.
It is hostage taking. It gives these folks the opportunity to wield outsize influence over the president and his decision making. It gives them the room to sedate and manipulate him, to shield him from outside alternative views, to make him a prisoner of their own worldview.
This fear many people, have expressed since Nana Akufo-Addo, announced his intention to run for the highest office of the land.
The optics of this gratuitous nepotism is too ugly. Nana Addo’s inner circle has the appearance of a conspiracy. A cabal. A brotherhood bound by blood and history.
Some people ask: If the president is unapologetically privatizing power within his family circle when his urgent tasks, should be seeking to create a sense of inclusiveness, why should anyone remain invested in preserving Ghana’s unity?
During the last presidential campaign, after the abysmal outing in 2008 and 2012, President Akufo-Addo, lent himself to a brand makeover operation, aimed at rebutting the myth of his clannishness and making him likable enough to be electable.
He consented to the inconvenience of being costumed in various ethnic outfits, because he was desperate to make a success of his third run.
After winning the election, Nana Addo has retrieved himself from his image managers. He has cleaned his wardrobe of those election season wears and renounced the symbolism of that pageantry.
He has retreated to his life of ethnic snobbery. And he is currently doing his level best to actively assault the sensibilities of Ghanaians with it.
Right now, Ghanaian security agencies are headed almost exclusively by AKANS. It didn’t happen by wild coincidence. President Akufo-Addo, made it so. He is disposed to appointing people from his neck of the woods and throwing in one or two more outsiders into the scheme of things …as an afterthought!
In the heat of electioneering campaign, Nana Addo, raised hopes that he would compose the most competent men and women in Ghanaian history. He campaigned on the mantra of ‘change’. He would jettison the old order of cronyism. He would set a precedent for meritocracy. He would nominate Ghana’s finest technocrats and professionals.
Nana Addo promised that he won’t appoint garden variety politicians as ministers. He said he was ‘looking for’ people of integrity. It was a false claim and a collective insult. Still, Ghanaians did not take offence.
They thought he had set high standards for his prospective picks. The nominees would be clean Ghanaians with compelling resumes, track records of notable achievements and a leaning towards twenty first century ideas.
That was not to be. Nana Addo, did not deliver. He nominated… his friends!
Nana Addo, has the winner-takes-it-all syndrome. He considers his election a personal triumph and the power of the president a license to dispense patronage. His crass nepotism represents his attempt to reward his family and friends for keeping faith.
His vaulting nepotism is a shame. It is beyond the pale. Love for family and friends, should not move the leader of a democratic republic to concentrate power within the circumference of his personal shadow.

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